138 LETTERS FROM THE
them. At one the great man bowed, and went
into the inner room.
I afterwards wrote to Truguet for leave to visit
the depot, but with little hope of obtaining it, as
Cottrau thinks the Directory are in a bad humour.
Continual squibs and songs against the Govern-
ment are stuck up in the streets, but no ballad-
singers are seen about.
Murders are numerous. The police knows who
the assassins are, but is not strong enough to put
a stop to them. The depravity of all ranks (if
one can talk of ranks) is past Jbelief. Everyone
plunges into the mud-pool of vice as soon as he
or she is strong enough to paddle in it without
fear of parental or political control. Nothing can
be more disastrous than the situation of a virtuous
parent who has a son or daughter of an age to
marry or to choose a profession.
It appears to me that enormous fortunes have
been made in these troublesome times; but this
has not been the lot of a very great number of
persons; for all pensions, rentes, interests, &c.,
being totally unproductive, farmers and peasants
are refractory and hard to manage. Scarce any-
body seems rich, or even at ease, in his circum
Lord Malmesbury, who lodges at TH6tel de